I can’t resist weighing in when the subject involves acclimatization. You said, “I plan to leave Lone Pine roughly around 1-2AM to get a good early start.” Don’t sleep in Lone Pine the night before. You should spend the night at Whitney Portal or higher. I’ve posted this dozens of times, but the correct sleeping altitude is the highest altitude at which you don’t get sick.

Great fitness helps you perform at altitude, but it doesn’t protect you from getting sick. Some people simply tolerate altitude better than others. I’m one of the lucky ones. People who are clearly fitter than I am eat my dust above 12,000’ and then kick my butt the last few miles before the parking lot. Only experience can tell you how you will feel up high.

Pace yourself, and try to keep moving. If you can’t go 10-20 minutes without stopping to catch your breath, you’re going too fast. Slow down, but keep moving. If you need food, water, a warmer jacket, or a break to answer the call of nature, stop and take care of that need. Otherwise, keep moving.

The first time I went up the North Fork, I was climbing Russell. I went up the day before and thrashed around for a long time before I found my way to Lower Boy Scout Lake (LBSL). The trail is much easier to follow now than it was in 1989. But if you’re going to take an acclimatization hike the day before, you might as well explore the route to LBSL.

Be sure you have good information on your route. If you navigate with your phone, send me a PM with your email address, and I’ll send you a .GPX for that area.